Jerwood Gallery (Hastings Contemporary)

Jerwood Gallery is a museum of contemporary British art located on the Stade in Hastings, East Sussex and operated by the Jerwood Foundation, a privately funded charity. Opened in March 2012, the £4m gallery contains both temporary exhibitions and a permanent collection of work by artists including L.S. Lowry, Augustus John, Stanley Spencer and Maggi Hambling. The new-build gallery is part of a wider masterplan to develop a new public space and community uses on a former coach and lorry park occupying a pivotal seafront site in Hastings Old Town.

Sustainability was embedded in the design from the outset, influencing orientation and plan layout, as well as the approach to materials and servicing. Skelly & Couch undertook a detailed analysis of renewable energy options, including life cycle costing (financial and CO2) and ongoing maintenance.

All the galleries are substantially naturally daylit and the building is almost all naturally ventilated, with the exception of the collection galleries where air conditioning is driven entirely through ground source cooling. Eleven 120m-deep ground source probes provide all the cooling and 60% of the heating. Below ground ducts were employed to maintain floor to ceiling levels and keep services hidden. Solar panels provide most of the hot water and rainwater is collected and recycled. 

Since museums demand exacting standards of temperature and humidity control, through consultation with the Tate, Skelly & Couch successfully developed an approach to the environmental control that reduced energy consumption whilst adequately preserving exhibits. The building creates 60% less CO2 than an average museum of comparable size. 

Jerwood Gallery was the recipient of a 2013 National RIBA award. It has also been granted a 2013 Civic Trust Award and a 2012 Public and Community Award from Sussex Heritage Trust. The project achieved an ‘Exemplar’ rating at design stage using an industry standard Sustainability rating tool.